Thursday, May 28, 2015

Homecoming, Again - Suede Button Skirt

Tank: Hollister (old)
Jacket: Forever 21
Bag: F21
Skirt: Topshop
Lipstick: FLOWER 'Think Pink'
An ex-boyfriend of mine once said to me, "You're too literary. Everything you do has to be symbolic." It was neither an insult or compliment, but it described what drew us together. We used to love poring over stories and book together, teasing out the themes and allusions of the author. What he meant was that I read deeper meaning into things, meaning that might not be apparent (or even exist). I still believe it's what made my college English professors beg me to go into a PhD program in literature. I love symbols and circular themes, and nothing else captures my imagination more than the idea of a homecoming.

Imagine it: the hero comes home, after a long struggle. What has changed at home? How has the hero changed? What is the hero searching for? Is home even home anymore? My photo shoots and stories all revolve around finding a place in a small town. Does this town exist? Can I ever find it? Or am I seeking not to find a home but to lose myself?

What awakens my creativity is the thought of that home, a small candle flickering across the plains nestled somewhere deep in the wilds, a place I have never been---but I know that when I write about it, it's as though I never left.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Suddenly Summer - Palm Print Shorts

Palm print sash tie shorts
Palm print sash waist tie shorts
Black cage bralette and Asian ombre hair

I stepped off the plane last weekend and the 84 degree heat and 80% humidity that rolled over me felt like a warm embrace from the city I have long considered home. This summer, I will be working in a law firm, and although the muggy, rainy May weather only exacerbates the terrible traffic in my beloved Houston, I'm so glad to be done with my first year of law school that I have no trouble looking on the bright side of things. For instance: how high of a floor my office is located on, because it allows me to watch the rain sweep over the downtown buildings. Wearing summer clothes on a quick jaunt to the beach. Mom's crawfish and shrimp boils. Being done with the most grueling academic year of my life. More then ever, I'm ready for whatever the summer will bring and I'm ready to soak up every sun-drenched moment.
Top: JCP (old)
Bralette (the black top underneath): Aeropostale (on sale for $14.75)
Shorts: A.N.A (on sale for $21.99)
Bag: LOFT (last year's). This year's version is now on sale for $19.99 with extra 40% off
Lipstick: Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Violet ($26)
Sunglasses: F21
Nail polish: Sally Hansen 'Mighty Mango'
Sandals: Old Navy (on sale for $20)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dressing Cheap and Feeling Poor - Paisley Shift Dress

Forever 21 gladiator sandals
Forever 21 brown flap satchel
Forever 21 lace up gladiator sandals
Instead of mixing high and low priced items, today's outfit is a walking advertisement for Forever 21. From head to toe, I am a complete low-priced, fast-fashion production.

The thing is, I don't feel low-price, since I buy so much from fast fashion companies. My addiction to instant gratification, via $20 dresses and $5 jewelry, adds up quickly, probably costing me over $100 a month.

Adding to my unease is the fact that the headband in these photos was purchased for $9.99 in an Urban Outfitters clearance bin when I was in the 10th grade. I remember the price because back then, $10 was a lot of money for an accessory (I've kept the headband for so long for the same reason). I had to put so much consideration into my purchases when I was younger because my family wasn't as affluent. And even though my wardrobe now is immense and almost never-repeating, I still don't know if I'm better off or happier because of it.

I don't know how to end this post---it's something I'll continue thinking about. I'm returning home for the summer in a few days, and I hope that maybe this summer I'll actually clean out my closet and my shopping habits.
Affiliate links follow:
Shoes: F21. Here is the $19.90 gold version from F21 that I wish I had bought instead.
Dress: F21 ($24.90)
Earrings: F21 ($5.90)
Bag: F21 (on sale for $16.99)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ten Pounds - Express Snake Print Drop Waist Dress

Snake print drop waist dress and red bag
Snakeskin print dress and black and white Nikes
Revlon Ruby Ribbon nail polish
Snake print dress and black and white Nikes street style
L'oreal Julianna's nude
Dress: Express (now on sale for 40% off at $47)
Earrings: H&M
Necklace: F21 ($9.90)
Lipstick: L'oreal 'Julianna's Nude'
Nail polish: Revlon 'Ruby Ribbon'
Purse: boutique from 2 years ago
Shoes: Nike
Almost two years ago, I wrote about "being fat for an Asian." To date, it's one of my most popular blog posts. I've gotten comments and emails from other Asian American girls who feel the same way, girls who cringe when people say "Asian girls are naturally skinny" (or "they have good skin," and generalizations of that nature). As I said in my previous posts, Asian American communities police and bolster a body image that non-Asians may find hard to believe, an image that makes me look meaty in comparison.

I don't like talking about "goal weight," because weight is only one indicator of health, but I hit that goal weight this week. To compare, here I am last year:

Ten pounds is a lot, but at the same time it's not a lot. You can see where I've lost pudge (and how I tried to hide that weight), but if you don't pay too much attention, it's the same girl, it's no big deal. But those ten pounds weighed on me all the time, whenever I looked in the mirror and wondered why I couldn't be enviable. After all, no one saw my body as "fitness goals" or "body goal," something they might do with Wendy from Wendy's Lookbook (the ideal petite and cute Asian figure) or Chriselle Lim (another lean, leggy Asian ideal).

As my long-time readers know, my dissatisfaction with myself led me to experimenting with photoshop for some of my blog pictures for a while, although I publicly promised to stop. So this year, I decided to just lose the darn weight, so I won't have the temptation to Photoshop. And maybe find a way to love my body more.

I can write a separate post about what I did to lose those ten pounds in ten weeks, but it's nothing exciting. What is exciting to me is joining the world of fitness, something I had been neglecting throughout college. No longer is my goal just to stop being "fat for an Asian"; I want to be fit for an Asian. Looking over this blog post makes me happy because I look lean, muscular, and healthy. I am skinnier, sure, and I can wear a tighter body con dress, but I think I mostly look different because I learned to stand up straight and be proud of the gains that I've accomplished in the gym.

Snake print body con drop waist flare dress and Nike sneakers
This blog is targeted towards smart, talented girls, and in the past, I tried to convince myself that weight wasn't important. Today I realized that I was only partly right; the weight isn't important as long as it's not resting on your shoulders, and there is more beauty in being strong than there is in being skinny.

So thanks for sticking with me, you smart, talented, and strong readers. Hopefully you'll continue with me on my journey to be more than just "another beautiful thing," in order to become someone whose accomplishments outshine their insecurities.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Meeting James at the Ice Cream Parlor - Ice Cream Sundae Crossbody Bag

Black leather jacket with white shirt dress and novelty bag
White LOFT shirt dress and ice cream sundae bag
Milkshake novelty bag
Nude Forever 21 strap sandals
Ice cream sundae bag with cherry and whipped cream

Two things I look like in these photos: Meghan Trainor, and a girl from the 50's about to meet her boyfriend James Dean down at the ice cream parlor. (Of course, our date would obviously be upended by a wild car chase of some sort, my father banning me from ever seeing "that boy" again, and a tearful cry into my pastel bedsheets). See, I even borrowed James' motorcycle jacket for a bit (he told me I could have it because it was chilly, but we both know it's just an excuse to put his arm around me). Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yes, fashion blog. Ahem. Fashion.

Affiliate links follow:
Dress: LOFT (hemmed and shortened). 40% off!
Shoes: Forever21 (old), similar here from MIA (under $26)
Bag: Modcloth (it's close to selling out, so here is another option that is about to be stocked)
Lipstick: Maybelline 'Red Revival'
Jacket: Forever21 (now $18)
Sunglasses: Forever21
Sidenote: for one of my English classes in undergrad called "Postmodern Culture" or something, we had to watch Rebel Without A Cause in class, and I got to ogle James for class credit. Needless to say, that was one of my favorite classes ever, and the final essay I wrote for it was pretty hilarious. But that's a story for another day.